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Kid-Friendly Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

side dishes for kidsThanksgiving can be stressful when you have kids who are picky-eaters and you have to worry about making dishes that will please everyone in the family. Your kids may not like to eat turkey but chances are they will enjoy some of the nutritious side dishes you make to accompany the turkey. Get them to try a little bit of each dish to see what they like. These side dishes are flavorful and kid-friendly and fit in perfectly with your Thanksgiving menu.

1. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are always a crowd pleaser and you can make different variations of this dish. Babies love the creamy texture and it’s easy for toddlers to feed themselves the potatoes. You can make this dish ahead of time and store it in the fridge until it’s time to serve and then you can take it out and reheat.

2. Candied Carrots

These won’t taste like the carrots kids are used to because they’re sweetened with butter, brown sugar and you can also add some cinnamon. This dish adds color to the table and will have your kids begging for more.

3. Apple Cranberry Stuffing

Kids may not like regular stuffing, but adding apples and cranberries to your stuffing will sweeten it a little and give it great flavor. You can also add dried cherries or blueberries instead of cranberries.

4. Butternut Squash Soup

This kid-approved soup is creamy and delicious and perfect for little ones who refuse to eat their vegetables.

5. Cranberry Sauce

If your child doesn’t like turkey on its own, try serving it with cranberry sauce. You can make your own sauce to cut back on the sugar and it’s easy enough to make that older kids can help you prepare it. If you’re short on time, it still tastes good straight out of the can too.

no slip baby bowlWritten by Brabara Schantz or Baby Dipper Bowl

As a stay-at-home mom of 2 sets of twin babies, Barbara faced the daunting task of feeding them. Frustrated with the bowls she had already purchased, she researched and bought other bowls, but still remained disappointed. She needed a bowl that required only one hand to successfully feed a baby, but wasn’t able to find one on the market that satisfied this need. The vision for the Baby Dipper® bowl came to her when her twin girls were about 6 months old, not long after they started eating baby cereal and other pureed foods. After much learning and hard work, she was able to bring the Baby Dipper bowl to market so that others can enjoy true one-handed feeding.

For more information, visit www.babydipper.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Image courtesy of  stockimage / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

10 Ways to Teach Children How to Be Thankful

teach-family-to-be-thankfulThere’s no better time than Thanksgiving to teach your children what it means to be thankful and how they can show their appreciation. It’s a tricky concept to teach to younger children but your older children can help. Teaching children to be thankful is important because it promotes sensitivity to the feelings of others and they won’t grow up feeling entitled. Grateful people tend to be more optimistic in life and overall happier. Here are 10 tips on how to teach your children to be thankful.

  1. Create a thankful tree

A thankful tree is a creative way for you and your children to share what you’re grateful for. Everyone can write down what they are thankful for on different colored construction paper leaves that you use to decorate your tree. Keep the tree in your living room and you can add to it each day and remember what you’re thankful for every time you pass by it.

  1. Count your blessings

When your children are having difficulty falling asleep, teach them to count their blessings instead of counting sheep. Have them recount in their head everything that they are thankful for (even the little things!) and soon enough they’ll be drifting off to dreamland.

  1. Lead by example

Children learn by following their parents’ example so teach them to be thankful by remembering to always say thank you. Make a point of saying “please” and “thank you” when you interact with others and when you talk to your children. Thank them for their hugs, when they clean up their room, and when they help clear the table.

  1. Have them donate old toys/clothes

When your children outgrow their clothes and toys, ask them to donate to less fortunate children. Explain to them why these children need their old toys and clothes and they will learn to appreciate what they have and to give to those in need.

  1. Write thank you notes

Any time your child receives a gift, whether for Christmas, birthdays or other holidays, have them write short and sweet thank you notes or ask them what they would like to say while you write it down.  Little ones can even draw pictures to accompany your written thank you notes if they’re still too young to write.

  1. Let kids contribute

Have your children make get well cards for a sick family member, help you set the table, or visit an elderly neighbor. When they know that they are helping others they will also feel thankful for all the things that you and others do for them.

  1. Have a thankful jar

Your kids can decorate a jar to keep on the table next to a pencil and paper. Everyone in the family can write down what they are thankful for in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. On the big day during or after your Thanksgiving meal, the kids can take out the notes and read aloud what the family is thankful for.

  1. Reward children with a hug

When your child says thank you let them know how much you appreciate their appreciation. Give your child and hug and say, “It makes me happy when you say thank you!” This positive attention will reinforce their good behavior.

  1. Make small sacrifices

Practice making sacrifices with your children such as not driving the car short distances and walking instead, or taking 5 minute showers instead of long, hot ones. This makes you realize what things you take for granted every day and teaches your children to be more humble.

  1. Reflect together at the end of the day

Before your kids go to bed at night, talk to them about their day and reflect on the good things that happened. By doing this you’re encouraging them to actually think about what they should be grateful for and it ends the day on a positive note.

In what ways do you teach your children to be thankful?

teething toysWritten by Lori Bredemeier, Founder of Little Toader.

Lori Bredemeier is the co-founder of Little Toader with her husband Michael. They are the inventors of AppeTEETHERS, safe and effective teething toys for babies that look like real foods!

What makes AppeTEETHERS safe:

1. AppeTEETHERS are solid silicone and extremely durable. There are no parts and there are no surface materials that could possibly come apart or detached.

2. Lori and Michael are germ-a-phobes! This is another reason they chose silicone. AppeTEETHERS are not porous so they do not absorb germs, dirt, or any other undesirable deposits. This makes them very easy to clean at home or on the go.

3. AppeTEETHERS do not have topical paint. All of our coloring is the actual color of the silicone. There is no risk of flaking or having the paint rub off into your baby’s mouth.

Consistently ranking in the top teething toys, AppeTEETHERS are a truly unique teething solution. Babies love them and parents get a kick out of watching their precious bundle of joy using them. All Little Toader products are tested and are Consumer Product Safety Commission compliant.

Visit www.littletoader.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Featured Boutique: “Runwayz Boutique”

unique baby and kids clothing, toys, and accessoriesLooking for something unique and exciting? Runwayz Boutique, located in downtown Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, offers a variety of unique gift ideas, baby and kids clothing and toys, home accents, ladies accessories and footwear.  AppeTEETHERSTM are the perfect addition to their baby and kids selection. The LOL! SuckerTM was just added in the current storefront location in Medicine Hat. You can find LOL! SuckerTM and Ice Cream U ScreamTM in store and online.

Runwayz founder, Angela Boschee, has a passion for searching out unique gift ideas as well as a love for shopping!  As a young girl, her dream was to open her very own store. Runwayz started as a home based business in 2005 and has since grown to its Medicine Hat location. The boutique also carries merchandise made by local area Mompreneurs.

Wishing Runwayz Boutique was closer to your home? No problem, you can shop online and they ship worldwide.  Sign up to receive their newsletter and join their group on face book to stay in the loop for all the latest and greatest news, events, and sales!

Like Runwayz Boutique on Facebook or sign up to receive their newsletter to stay informed.

unique baby and kids clothing, toys, and accessories

Stick with us as we take you on a journey around the world with AppeTEETHERS. Find out where they will pop up next.

Do you have somewhere you would like to see AppeTEETHERS? Email us at customerservice@littletoader.com with your suggestions.

Follow us on Facebook for news and updates on AppeTEETHERS by Little Toader! www.facebook.com/littletoader

teething toysWritten by Lori Bredemeier, Founder of Little Toader.

Lori Bredemeier is the co-founder of Little Toader with her husband Michael. They are the inventors of AppeTEETHERS and here is how their teething toys are chosen again and again by parents as babies’ favorite teether.

Not only are AppeTEETHERS safe and effective, they are funny too! Using a play on words with “appetizers” and “teethers,” AppeTEETHERS look like real food!

Consistently ranking as one of the top teething toys, AppeTEETHERS are a truly unique teething solution. Babies love them and parents get a kick out of watching their precious bundle of joy using them. All Little Toader products are tested and are Consumer Product Safety Commission compliant.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

5 Fun Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

thanksgiving activtiesThanksgiving is almost here and it’s the perfect time to bond with your family and celebrate the holidays! There are plenty of activities you can do with your kids to teach them about Thanksgiving and keep them occupied while you’re busy cooking dinner in the kitchen. I love to play with my kids – I have a mission of making parenting fun. That’s why the I’d like to share my favorite Thanksgiving activities for the kids to get into the holiday spirit.

1. Make a Thanksgiving turkey

This staple of Thanksgiving arts & crafts is super easy and fun to make for kids of all ages. You’ll need some construction paper, pencil, markers or crayons and a free hand! Place your child’s hand on a piece of construction paper and trace around the hand and in between fingers with a pencil. Have your child color in the feathers (a.k.a fingers). Next draw eyes and a beak on the turkey and little claws for feet. Feel free to make it more creative by using several colored sheets of construction paper and layering the hands and add some googly eyes.

2. Create a paper Pilgrim hat

For this craft you’ll need some black poster board or construction paper, white paper, a stapler, glue, markers, and paper clips. Draw a Pilgrim hat shape on the black poster board and then draw a separate wide headband shape on the poster board (make sure it’s large enough to fit around your child’s head). Cut out the pieces and decorate with a square, gold buckle drawn on paper. Staple the bottom of the hat to the center of the headband. Secure the headband/hat around your child’s head using the paper clips.

3. Bake turkey cookies

You can bake sugar cookies from scratch or use a sugar cookie mix and then have your kids help you decorate them to look like turkeys. You’ll need to frost the cookies with a chocolate frosting covering the top of the cookie for the turkey’s body. Add upside down candy corn in a fan shape to the top of the cookie for the bird’s feathers. Use mini M&Ms for eyes or pipe them and the bird’s beak and feet with yellow icing. Add yellow, red, orange and brown sprinkles for extra decoration.

4. Make Indian corn decorations

For this craft you will need raffia paper in a natural color, scissors, glue, colored tissue paper, and yellow poster board. Make corn stalks out of untwisted raffia paper and fan out the husks. Cut out an ear of corn from the yellow posted board and glue it to the corn husks. Crumple 3-inch colored tissue paper squares to create corn kernels and glue them to the ear of corn. Tie the bottom of the raffia paper to complete. For more detailed instructions visit http://spoonful.com/crafts/paper-indian-corn.

5. Make Thanksgiving puppets

You can make Pilgrim and Indian puppets out of a toilet paper rolls, scissors, colored paper, glue and markers. Wrap the toilet paper tube in colored paper — black for Pilgrims, brown for Indians. Add a different color paper for the faces and draw on eyes, a nose and mouth for each puppet. Cut small paper rectangles and snip along the bottom to make a “fringe.” Wrap the rectangle around the head of the puppet for hair. Add a little headband and feather for the Indians and Pilgrim hats and bonnets for the Pilgrims.

Image courtesy of Michael Elliot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

teething toysWritten by Lori Bredemeier, Founder of Little Toader.

Lori Bredemeier is the co-founder of Little Toader with her husband Michael. They are the inventors of AppeTEETHERS and here is how their teething toys are chosen again and again by parents as babies’ favorite teether.

Not only are AppeTEETHERS safe and effective, they are funny too! Using a play on words with “appetizers” and “teethers,” AppeTEETHERS look like real food!

Consistently ranking as one of the top teething toys, AppeTEETHERS are a truly unique teething solution. Babies love them and parents get a kick out of watching their precious bundle of joy using them. All Little Toader products are tested and are Consumer Product Safety Commission compliant.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

6 Ways to Rock Out Your Baby’s Car Seat

A good car seat is essential for baby’s safety while traveling in the car. Once you’ve got the right car seat set up and correctly installed, it’s time to make sure that it’s comfortable for baby. There are plenty of options for car seat accessories for baby’s comfort and privacy but also to keep baby entertained while you’re busy concentrating on the road. These top products make traveling by car with baby a breeze for parents.

1. Babee Covee

Babee Covee is an award-winning convertible baby blanket and cover that is SIX products in ONE! It makes traveling with baby easy by eliminating the need to buy, pack and carry bulky single-use items while helping to protect baby/toddler from germs where ever you go.

The trendy Babee Covee can be used as: 1) car seat canopy cover 2) nursing cover 3) shopping cart cover 4) high chair cover 5) stroller cover/blanket and 6) playtime blanket.

car seat canopy

$39.99 – $49.99

www.babeecovee.com

2. Pully Palz

Pully Palz are the first ever baby toys that actually help babies retrieve their own pacifiers! They’re interactive and entertaining to keep baby distracted and helpful for parents who no longer have to play the “pacifier game.” The innovative and developmentally beneficial toy keeps pacifiers in view and in reach to keep them clean. Pully Palz hold most pacifiers and attach to baby carriers, bouncers and more.

pacifier holder

$19.99

www.pullypalz.com

3. Baby Elephant Ears

Baby Elephant Ears is a multi-use headrest providing spinal/neck alignment and comfort for babies — and they’re designed to look like adorable elephant ears! Baby Elephant Ears go wherever baby goes — stroller, swing, carseat, changing table, etc. The headrests are fully washable and require no attachments, straps or special skills and they’re offered in diverse prints and organics. The superior design and durability of these headrests make them the perfect gift for parents! Winner of this year’s Huggies MomInspired Award!

baby headrest

$21.95

www.babyelephantears.com

4. Zipadee-Zip

The Zipadee-Zip is an alternative to the traditional sleep sacs and swaddle blankets because it provides babies with the snug feeling of security while allowing for the freedom of pajamas. With Zipadee-Zip, babies are free to stand up, crawl, roll and move around safely. This versatile sleep garment has 7+ uses including: encourages sleep during travel, provides a germ-free environment on planes, trains and cars, prevents scratching and more. It works like magic to help babies fall asleep and stay asleep and is ideal for transitioning babies from swaddling or for babies who do not like to be swaddled.

 

transitioning babies from swaddlin

$34.95

www.sleepingbaby.com

5. Woombie Convertible Leggies Swaddle

The Woombie Convertible Leggies allows for baby’s arms to come out which is important for car seat safety AND allows for freedom of baby’s legs.  Baby baby is free to sit in a car seat while feeling the snugness and security of being swaddled. Simple, safe and effective, Woombie Convertible Leggies easily swaddles and soothes baby and is a must-have for car travel.

lower body swaddle

$30.00

www.woombie.com

6. Little Toader AppeTEETHERS

Teething is one of the most painful development processes for babies and is just as tough on parents, especially during long car rides. AppeTEETHERS are patented, silicone teething toys free of BPA, Phthalate, PVC and lead. They provide the perfect amount of resistance to sooth babies’ sore gums, and best of all the cute one-of-a-kind designs will surely make you chuckle because they look exactly like real food! The current line includes Chompin’ Chicken Wing, Baby-Q Rib, Ice Cream U Scream, Nopainapple, LOL! Sucker and Broccoli Bites.
teething toys

$9.99

www.littletoader.com

baby blanket and coverWritten By Alma Moussa, Inventor of Babee Covee.

Invented by accident by Alma Moussa during a playdate, the Babee Covee is a versatile baby blanket and cover that has six uses in one! This award-winning, must-have baby gear eliminates the need to buy, pack, and carry bulky single purpose items while protecting baby from germs where ever you go; no more overflowing diaper bag’ no more blanket falling off the car seat and no more germs on publicly shared items!

The Babee Covee can be used as: 1) car seat canopy cover 2) stroller cover/blanket 3) shopping cart cover 4) high chair cover 5) nursing cover and 6) playtime blanket. It easily attaches to a car seat or stroller and does not fall off! It can also be used to cover the baby for privacy while sleeping (includes a peek in window).

Visit www.babeecovee.com for more information.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

5 Secrets to Feeding Picky Children

feed picky eatersAs a parent of three school-age children and a personal chef, I am always striving to put good healthy mealtime options that everyone will enjoy in front of my family or those of my clients. However, it seems that the mealtime whims of ‘the picky eater’ are common to almost every household, often dominating mealtimes to the detriment of other family members’ enjoyment. Keeping the demands of our most choosy diners in check can be challenging and often frustrating. But in my experience, once you set a rule and establish a routine and (the difficult bit), stick to it, mealtimes can become a far more enjoyable affair dominated by conversation and togetherness.

But before you get carried away with these tried and tested strategies, it’s important to recognize that you will need time, patience and resilience. Rome was not built in a day, and people are unique in their food preferences – essentially your child may never like cauliflower or peas, even if you do. But as a parent you have the ability to help your child make an informed decision about food, just as they would about sports or academics – by presenting the opportunity to try in a consistent manner.

1. Establish a Mealtime Routine

Eat meals sitting down at the table, (not in front of the TV) preferably together as a family.  Prepare a meal, one meal for the whole family – that might mean that it can’t be spicy, and for younger children in particular, it should be easily identifiable. Your aim is to put something healthy on the table that everyone will enjoy.  Be clear that the family table is just that, not a restaurant with menu options. Make one meal with choices, ideally including at least one choice you know your family will eat, and do not provide alternatives. There is a difference between “I don’t like broccoli” and “I refuse to eat my vegetables.”

2.  Establish a Snack Rule

Eat meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner and limit snacking. Cutting out the snacks is probably the biggest hurdle for most families, especially as our culture is so snack-prevalent, but it can be done and over time, your children will also come to understand smart snack choices and timing which are important lessons to teach in their own right. How would you feel if an adult came to dinner, having consumed a grand latte and three donut holes only an hour earlier?

Think of milk and juice as snacks too – if you calculate the nutrition and calorie load in beverages, you’ll start to understand why and it’s simply unfair to expect a child, especially a small one, to eat a full meal at 5 pm when they’ve only just consumed half a pint of milk or juice. Consider introducing a ‘No Snacks 2 Hours Before Dinner’ rule – and then sticking to it.

3. Introducing New Foods – GO SLOW!

Introduce new foods alongside favored ones. If your child will only eat carrots, offer carrots and corn, carrots and beans, carrots and tomatoes. And then keep offering it. Just because a child refuses something once does not mean that they do not like it. Yes, this may take years – no really, years! It took me eight long years with potatoes and my eldest son. I never stopped bringing them to the family table. He now eats all types of potatoes – apart from mashed. And I’m okay with the fact that perhaps he will never enjoy mashed potatoes.

Don’t make a ‘ta-da’ over the new item you might be introducing – that’s enough to put any reticent diner on edge. Less is more, in terms of quantity and fuss. Once you’ve established a food as a favored item, start to consider switching up the flavors. For example, if your child loves green beans – try presenting Green Beans Almondine. This is setting them up for more sophisticated dining and gets them accustomed to eating with combinations too, which can often be a hurdle for children. Above all else, take your time.

4. Make it Fun

Kids love to play, so if you consider making their food playful, then there’s a better chance of them eating it – there’s a reason why giant food manufacturers came up with macaroni shapes and chicken nugget dinosaurs! But consider this too – small kids don’t really eat much and they love finger food. By cutting their food into fun shapes in tiny quantities, you’ve made their food fun and put them in charge of their plate – something we know they love. However, as Mom, I can’t say carving out shapes is something I love! Find yourself a nifty cutter that makes food into fun shapes for kids.

5. Stock your Pantry Smarter

If your home is stocked with more healthy choices like fruit, raw veggies, nuts, and less processed choices like chips, candy, cheese, then there’s a good chance your family’s snacking habits will change, not to mention your salt/sugar/fat consumption! At the end of the day, the buck stops with you – in the grocery store. If you want your family to eat healthy, then buy healthy and set the example from the top.

Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

personal chef Greenwich CTGuest Blog by Joanna Wallis of The Cooking Fairy

Joanna Wallis is a busy mom of 3 who started cooking over 20 years ago. Her culinary knowledge is self-taught and spans a variety of different cuisines and styles. Her love of food was the inspiration for The Cooking Fairy which started out as a glimmer of shiny magic over three years ago. Joanna works as a personal chef for a wide range of clientele and she loves bringing families together with healthy, delicious, and fresh meals prepared just for them.

For more information, visit: www.thefairycook.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

3 Baby Teething Myths

teething tipsTeething is not always easy to understand and new parents especially can get confused by all the teething articles they read with differing information. To make sure that you understand the symptoms of teething and the right tips and tricks to soothe a teething baby, consult your pediatrician to get the most up-to-date information. I’d like to dispel some myths associated with infant teething and sharing information to help parents better understand their teething babies.

My baby is too young to be teething.

Six months is usually when most babies get their first tooth but some babies’ teeth appear at a much earlier age. All four of our kids started teething at two months, which is not the norm. If your baby is drooling excessively, cranky, has a change in appetite and is sticking her fists in her mouth, chances are that she is teething.

A teething baby will have trouble sleeping and be fussy.

Every baby responds differently to teething. Two of our kids were barely phased by it and never had trouble sleeping while teething. The other two did have a pretty tough time with it. If your baby is having trouble falling asleep at bedtime due to teething pains, soothe them with some gentle pats, offer a cool washcloth to numb their gums, or ask your pediatrician about a pain reliever that is safe to give baby at night.

I can only breastfeed until my baby gets teeth.

While babies can experience setbacks with breastfeeding while teething, they are usually only temporary. Some babies experience little to no discomfort while other babies have painfully swollen gums that are aggravated by sucking. Breastfeeding, however, can be very comforting and soothing for baby so even if your baby does stop nursing for a few days, continue to offer your breast when baby appears to be hungry. You can talk to a lactation consultant for help during this time.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

teething toysWritten by Lori Bredemeier, Founder of Little Toader.

Lori Bredemeier is the co-founder of Little Toader with her husband Michael. They are the inventors of AppeTEETHERS and here is how their teething toys are chosen again and again by parents as babies’ favorite teether.

Not only are AppeTEETHERS safe and effective, they are funny too! Using a play on words with “appetizers” and “teethers,” AppeTEETHERS look like real food!

Consistently ranking as one of the top teething toys, AppeTEETHERS are a truly unique teething solution. Babies love them and parents get a kick out of watching their precious bundle of joy using them. All Little Toader products are tested and are Consumer Product Safety Commission compliant.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

End of Daylight Saving Time: Tips for a Successful “Fall Back” Transition

traveling-sleep-tipsYes, it’s that dreaded time again… The end of Daylight Saving Time (DST) is just around the corner. On November 3, 2013, we will move the clocks back by one hour. If your children easily adjusts to the time change, you may be lucky and get an extra hour of sleep. Most of you, however, should expect that your children will wake up to an hour earlier until their bodies have adjusted to the new time. As a Certified Child Sleep Consultant by the Family Sleep Institute and Founder of SleepyHead Solutions in St. Louis, MO, I’ve given out lots of child sleep tips to help ease the pain of the end of Daylight Saving shift. Here are some of those:

For the less sensitive baby or child…

  • Go with the flow. There is no need to prepare them for the time change. Come Sunday, adjust the entire day to the new time including naps, bedtime, and meals. Within a few days his body will adjust.

For those children who have some difficulty with sleep transitions…

  • Start the transition to the new time several days before the end of DST begins. On Wednesday, October 30th, begin to shift the bedtime later by 15 minutes. Each subsequent day, shift the bedtime an additional 15 minutes. Be sure to adjust his entire day (naps, bedtime, and meals). By Sunday, your little ones’ body will already be on the way to adjusting to the new time.
  • For the first week or two after DST ends, keep the lights a bit dimmer for the first hour or so after waking in the morning and the lights a bit brighter for the last hour of the day. This will help the resetting of your child’s internal clock to the new time.
  • With any change to schedule or routine, the more rested your little one can be leading up to the change, the more successful the transition will be. Spend time now getting naps and night sleep in order so your little one is not overtired. A well-rested sleeper will handle this transition much more smoothly than an overtired child!

Tips for making Sunday (and the following days) as smooth as possible:

  • Spend lots of time outdoors. Physical activity will help ensure that your little one is tuckered out in time for naps and bedtime. Being in the natural light will also help them reset their internal clocks.
  • If your little one wakes early in the morning on Sunday, do your best to get him to go back to sleep until the regular wake time (according the new time). If he does wake early, on Sunday only, go ahead and get him out of bed a bit earlier than his regular wake time.
  • Keep him awake until the correct time for his naps. Spending time outdoors will help make this more successful.
  • In the evening, do your best to keep your child awake until his normal bedtime.

Have realistic expectations. It could take anywhere from a few days to a week or two for your little one’s internal clock to reset to this new time. As with all sleep training, the most important thing is for Mom and Dad to approach this transition with patience, confidence, and consistency.

certified sleep consultantWritten by Renee Wasserman of SleepyHead Solutions.

Originally from Los Angeles and now living in St. Louis, MO, Renee Wasserman holds a Masters in Public Heath and is a Physical Therapist with more than 15 years of experience. With her experiences in both the health care field and those that come with a being a mom to 3 girls (ages 5, 7, and 9), she discovered her passion for children’s sleep issues and founded SleepyHead Solutions. As a Family Sleep Institute certified infant and child sleep consultant, Renee empowers parents to teach their children to become healthy sleepers.

She offers many services including phone, email, Skype/FaceTime, and in person consultations to solve a child’s sleep challenges as well as to help parents set their newborns on the right track toward a healthy sleep foundation. Renee also serves as a volunteer ambassador for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Safe to Sleep campaign. This campaign aims to educate parents, caregivers and health care providers about ways to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

For more information, vist www.sleepyheadsolutions.com

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Image courtesy of papaija2008 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

7 Must-Know Car Seat Safety Tips for Parents

car seat safety tipsParents want their kids to be safe while riding in a car so it’s important they take the time to learn how to properly use a car seat. There are several options when it comes to car seats and the type you need for your child depends on factors like your child’s size, age and also the type of car you have. Once you’ve determined which car seat is appropriate for your child, you have to learn what mistakes to avoid making with the car seat. Here are seven tips all parents should know when it comes to car seat safety:

1. Place the car seat in the right position. You should never place the car seat in the front seat of the car where it can be hit by an inflated air bag and injure your child. The car seat should be placed in the back seat and preferably in the center seat, away from the car doors.

2. Make sure you install the seat correctly. Properly installing a car seat may take some time to figure out so it’s important to read the instruction manual. The car seat needs to be secured tightly and facing the right direction. There are child car seat inspection stations across the country that you can go to and see if it’s been installed properly.

3. Buckle up. When buckling up your child, make sure that the harness or clip is even with your child’s armpits and not placed over the abdomen or neck. You also want to check that the straps or harness are not loose and instead lie flat against your child’s chest. To keep the belt from becoming slack, look for a special locking clip at your baby store.

4. Keep baby from slouching forward. You can use tightly rolled baby blankets or cloth diapers and place alongside your child’s shoulders in order to prevent slouching. Even better check out Baby Elephant Ears which is the perfect solution!

5. Get the right booster seat. Older children need booster seats that use both a lap and shoulder belt. Even booster seats that are backless still need to be used with a shoulder belt and never just a lap-only belt.

6. Know when to switch to a forward-facing car seat. It’s recommended that a child rides in a rear-facing car seat until they reach age 2. You should also check the car seat manufacturer’s instructions which state the highest weight or height allowed. Rear-facing car seats are safest for infants because the back of the seat protects baby’s head, neck and torso.

7. Check to make sure your car seat hasn’t been recalled. If you’re using an older car seat or a used car seat, find out how long it can safely be used for by contacting the manufacturer. You might also be able to get a replacement model from the manufacturer if your car seat has been recalled.

For more car seat safety tips visit http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats.htm.

Image courtesy of kdshutterman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

baby blanket and coverWritten By Alma Moussa, Inventor of Babee Covee.

Invented by accident by Alma Moussa during a playdate, the Babee Covee is a versatile baby blanket and cover that has six uses in one! This award-winning, must-have baby gear eliminates the need to buy, pack, and carry bulky single purpose items while protecting baby from germs where ever you go; no more overflowing diaper bag’ no more blanket falling off the car seat and no more germs on publicly shared items!

The Babee Covee can be used as: 1) car seat “tent” cover 2) stroller cover/blanket 3) shopping cart cover 4) high chair cover 5) nursing cover and 6) playtime blanket. It easily attaches to a car seat or stroller and does not fall off! It can also be used to cover the baby for privacy while sleeping (includes a peek in window).

Visit www.babeecovee.com for more information.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to pr@littletoader.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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